Posts Tagged ‘Non-white wedding dress’
When Nicole sent me her wedding graduate post, she said something hilarious, ie, “I feel a little shy about sending you this… I’m really not sure that our Australian, homespun, fairly un-traditional (but oh-so-joyful) wedding of two ‘older’ people is appropriate for A Practical Wedding.” Ha ha ha ha ha. Because it could not be MORE perfect for APW if it tried (and more specifically more appropriate for Megs). You know how sometimes I say things like, “I wish I had been at this wedding”? Well with this wedding I am FREAKING OUT about how Nicole forgot to invite me. Forgot! To! Invite! Me! Because, you see, I grew up doing things like hippie-world-music-dance-camps-under-the-redwoods, and this wedding looks like it came right out of my old photo albums. Happy, happy photo albums. So. Without further ado, I bring you Nicole, with the wedding I wish I was at. Oh. And she brings some serious wisdom to go with her serious inspiration.
I read a lot of wedding blogs in the months before our wedding, and with all of my extensive research I really believed I was prepared for anything that the wedding planning process and the wedding itself could throw at me. But of course there were some surprises and some lessons, now neatly slogan-ised as:
- Some form of stress is probably unavoidable
- There really are no ‘shoulds’
- There truly IS something magical about the whole wedding experience
A little bit of background. Tim and I have been together for eleven years and so in getting married, we felt like we had license to be utterly ruthless about which traditions to include in our wedding. We picked up virtually every tradition and had a good look at it from all angles and figured out whether it meant anything to us. Being a bit older (late 30s/late 40s respectively) we also had very little in the way of family expectations.
The feeling of seeing our dreams realized for our wedding weekend was really quite marvelous. We had booked a big wooden bunkhouse in the forest, where most Western Australians would have spent a school camp at some point in their lives. This is no ‘walk-in’ function centre, so it had to be a very hands-on, DIY wedding.
Without the very intimate involvement of family and friends, we would never have been able to pull it off. My mum cooked our feast, my sister coordinated the breakfast for the following day, our friends organized all of the PA and music equipment, other friends turned big boxes of wildflowers and foliage into beautiful jars of flowers – it goes on.
Which brings me to my first lesson. I was SO determined to be a cool-under-pressure, low key kind of bride, I genuinely didn’t find the 6 months before the wedding all that stressful. My non-bridal dress I found on the sale rack of a local designer and was only the second dress I tried on. We made lots of the little details (the burlap table runners, a heap of red cushion covers, a bunch of red flags, and the bunting for example) but we just fitted those tasks in around our lives. I am quite comfortable organizing events, in which case I really should have known that stress at some point is unavoidable.
Quite a few things didn’t quite go to plan on the Friday night and the Saturday morning before the wedding (hire company problems, flowers in more of a natural state than we’d imagined). Each task took just a little longer than we’d planned on, and I had some mildly terrifying moments on Friday night and Saturday morning where I really didn’t think we would get there, and would still be in our jeans and in a flap when all the guests started to arrive.
That stress I felt just before the wedding leads to my second lesson – ‘there are no shoulds’. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Nicole & Tim
Ok, I’m actually off galavanting today (more on that later) but in my absence you guys are getting what is quite possibly the best wedding ever. I know. You don’t believe me. BUT SOON YOU WILL. Angele & Jorge are Spanish, and their beautiful two day celebration with a backyard party and surprise drumming (!) is joining our growing passle of international wedding graduates. I love these weddings, because it makes me feel like I went to visit a totally new-to-me culture, and someone invited me into their home at a important moment in their lives and I got to run around and drink and dance and be fascinated and overjoyed and learn all this new amazing wedding stuff. And international brides? Angela is not totally fluent in English, so she sent us her post, and we edited it up to be totally clear. So don’t be scared, send me your wedding. Please? And now, the brave and wonderful Angela:
I am, in fact, not the kind of girl that dreams of white dresses, weddings, etc. When I was a child I just wanted to be a boy, mostly because boys run faster. Put in the mix a feminist mother, a career that’s not traditionally for women (I’m a forestry engineer) and some stubbornness and voilá! It all begins to make sense why I would not be into fluffy dresses.
Ten years ago, I met Jorge in our eramus year (we were both studying abroad in Sweden). In April of 2009, I was wondering if I wanted to be married at all some day, and if the answer was yes, why? I began thinking about me and Jorge, our love, and our dreams, and what we wanted to do with our lives. I felt as though I was ready to make a commitment to him, and I felt that i would marry him some day soon.
And then, Jorge asked me to marry him. But, before we told anyone, we first discussed details: number of attendants, catering versus restaurant, civil or religious ceremony, etc. When we found an agreement between us, only then did we feel ready to tell anyone -and then we told anyone who would listen. Both families were completely astounded, but also really excited for us.
We finally agreed on a civil ceremony on a Friday, and then having our celebration with our relatives and friends on Saturday. So yes, we created two wonderful, marvelous, very-attached-to-our-hearts days. The Friday of the ceremony, we got ready together in our own house, and then went together, hand in hand, to the place in which the ceremony would be held. Both of us are Spanish, but I’m from the south (Andalucia), so my ancestors were at some point Arabic. Jorge is from the north, and his ancestors are from Castilla. We chose to get married in my birth town, where we currently live. Most of the civil weddings in my town are held in a beautiful place, which just so happens to be a national monument. This place actually mixes Arabic gardens with some Roman touches (like mosaic in the walls) and some Catholic architecture, and therefore mixed our origins and our identities perfectly.
Jorge wanted something that he could use again, so he bought a dark chocolate suit. For Saturday(celebration day) we didn’t want our guests in formal attire, we wanted everyone to be comfortable. So, we asked the girls to wear red and the boys to wear blue shirts and jeans, and they actually did. I wore a long, red fun party dress to match, and Jorge wore a pair of jeans and a blue shirt with red stars on it. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Angela & Jorge – Spanish Two Day Long Wedding
There are a million amazing things about Jen’s wedding graduate post, so lets just start with the most obvious: THE DRESS. Normally, the amazing black color crinolined, corseted wedding dresses all end up on Offbeat Bride (even though I’ve been known to wear a corset or two myself in my day). But Jen is an APW Bay Area book club-ber, so I figured this was Team Practical’s chance to rock the black dress.
But mostly, Jen’s post is just smart. What she says about budgets? Is smart. Listen to it. Maybe take notes. What she says about her wedding being the best wedding she’s ever been to? Exactly. But this bit, maybe you should get tattooed on your arm: “While our choices didn’t always fit with what people know of weddings, they did fit with what people know of us.” Because you really need to remember how important that is. And with that, I give you Jen, herself.
I remember reading wedding grad posts and wondering how the hell all these ladies were so d*mn calm and composed. Now that my wedding is over and I’m writing this, it becomes clear. Reflecting on wedding planning, you remember that there were things that sucked. It’s hard to get worked up over them, since clearly they either worked or they didn’t. Obsessing even more about them now won’t fix the amount of obsessing and freaking out that you did before. I’m also picking and choosing what I want to talk about, because the internet is a scary place that already has archives of embarrassing things I said in 1994. So this is what you get.
Unexpectedly, I was pretty zen for the last 2-3 months or so before the wedding. There were many many things that I over engineered, over thought and over emphasized while in the planning phase. However, once the ideas were decided on, everything seemed to get a lot easier. It helped that we made some smart decisions. For example, I refused to choose a shade of purple, because I knew that I would go mad trying to get things to match. Also, we decided that we’d rather pay more to have our ceremony/reception/tables/chairs/food/drinks as a package, rather than deal with that many vendors. I also remembered to treat my friends, who volunteered their time to assemble invitations and programs, as friends not staff (and consciously didn’t let my perfectionist tendencies apply to them).
It also helped to sit down and decide what Rob and I wanted out of our wedding. A wedding can be many things- fun, beautiful, religious, charming, traditional, exciting, scary, quick, quirky, unusual, etc. Trying to plan a wedding that is *all* of those things would drive you insane pretty quickly. We spent the time to decide that what we wanted was the wedding to be fun and comfortable. We used that decision to help us with the other decisions. (Did we want an aisle runner? Would it make the wedding more fun or comfortable?)
Also, we made many of our decisions together- Rob didn’t get to just show up to the wedding, he helped make decisions and did most of the phone calls. I dealt with the fiddly bits of the decor, invitations and programs and tried to not pester him with too many boring questions about details that he wasn’t excited about. I did ok, but he’ll verify that I still asked about a ton of things that he didn’t care about. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Jen & Rob
I am at a loss to what to say in this wedding graduate intro, other than every single one of you must read it. Even those of you who are long married, and jaded, and never read wedding graduate posts anymore: Read It. This post is a crazy involved tale, Gemma & James got married in London, and had their reception in a spot where King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon once feasted for six days, for starters. But beyond that, Gemma just feels like my soul sister, and her wedding is one of those that I wish on a bone deep level that I’d been at (and not just because it was in London, which is my soul sister of a city). and I adore her non-white wedding cocktail dress. Because we all deserve to get married feeling like our fullest, most real selves, and clearly Gemma did just that.
I’ve been itching to send you a Wedding Graduate post for absolutely ages now, but an uncharacteristic shyness has been holding me back. Why would anyone want to read about my wedding? Then this morning I woke up and just thought to heck with it – so here goes…
James and I got hitched last October, after a year’s engagement. I spent that year juggling planning the wedding with training to be a primary school teacher and, in the last couple of months, starting my first teaching job in a challenging inner-city school. Yeah, who thought that was a good idea? I discovered APW a couple of months after I got engaged, and thank heaven I did. Before then I’d been buying the standard reading matter produced by the WIC and getting increasingly alarmed at the difference between the images I was seeing and our idea of what we wanted our wedding to be.
A little background, first. Growing up, I was never one of those girls who dreamed about getting married. In fact, my mum turned round to me one day (I think she was driving me home from college, so I must have been about 17) and told me that she didn’t think I would ever get married. “I think you’ll probably just live with someone,” she said. She may even have used the word “bohemian.” At the time, I agreed with her. Marriage? How bourgeois! But as the years passed, it looked like actually finding someone to marry in the first place would be a struggle – I had a couple of boyfriends, very short term, but despaired of finding The One (of course, I know that the concept of there being just one person out there for you is ridiculous, but give me a break, I was in my twenties). Then, out of the blue, I met James, my now-husband. He was wearing a welding mask and carrying a samovar at the time, both of which I took to be a Good Sign. In October of 2009 he proposed and I gladly accepted, and thereby proved my mum wrong.
My mum and dad were over the moon, and very generously offered to pay for the wedding. Lucky, lucky, lucky us! However, this meant I now had to start thinking about weddings, for the first time ever. Early on, I half-joked that I would like to get hitched in a forest. James’ face did not exactly light up with excitement at the idea. Gently, he explained that, as a Catholic, he wouldn’t feel like we were properly married if the wedding wasn’t held in a church. Now I am very loosely Christian, Church of England, used to go regularly when I was younger but stopped when I became a teenager and started valuing lie-ins above spiritual enlightenment. James doesn’t go to church either (except for Christmas and Easter), but once a Catholic, always a Catholic, I guess. As it mattered much more to him where we got married, I was happy to make that compromise (my mum did exactly the same for my dad, who is also Catholic, so there is kind of a family tradition!).
We knew we didn’t want to get married in Cheshire, where I am originally from, and I wasn’t keen on getting married in Belfast, James’ home town, so we made the decision to hold the wedding in London. We are Londoners, after all. Why would we go anywhere else? Also no travelling to far-flung places = more money to spend on important things like FOOD and WINE. It was the best decision we could have made, as we ended up getting married at St Etheldreda’s Church in Clerkenwell, which is one of my favourite parts of London. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Gemma & James